by Danielle M., St. Anne's Elementary School, Peterborough, ON
ďAh! The good old days!Ē Well actually, it depends on the people you talk to - the older generation, or even the younger generation. Now school days in the older generation, were quite interesting, quite surprising, or you could say ďan eye opener!Ē Since Iím living in the younger generation Iíll tell you about what my grandma, my mom and dad had to go through, in the older generation
Now, I would like to start with my grandma, since she lived in an older generation than my mom and dad.
My grandma Jeanne stayed in school until she was in grade seven. In the middle of the year, she had to quit. Why? She had to stay home to take care of her brothers and sisters. During her school days a lot went on. Every day she had to walk one mile and a half - just to catch the bus. When it was bad weather she still had to walk because her mom couldnít drive as they were too poor. Every day she had to go to school with clean hands and clean uniforms. And your desk had to be really clean.
My grandmaís favorite teacher was Sister Marie-Jeanne. She liked her because my grandma could have got the strap but she didnít because her teacher stood up for her. Her worst teacher was Ms. Smith. She used to hit my grandma and a lot of other kids in the school. One day my grandma was doing her work and the teacher came up to her and hit as hard as she could on my grandmaís shoulder, with a sharpened pencil. My grandma was bleeding and nobody did anything. Like come on! Back then you only got three warnings....actually you didnít get any warnings - you just got the strap. Also, you werenít allowed to defend yourself. Oh! And it was either that you brought your own lunch to school or walked home to get your lunch.
My grandma has one frightening story when she was going to school. She was walking home from school and saw a house of fire. She couldnít do anything so she kept on walking. The next day she found out that the house that was on fire belonged to one of the teachers. She also found out that one of the teacherís kids was still in the house. So the teacher went back to the house and saved her child but came out with a 90% burn! She was a hero!!
So that is the scoop that I got on my grandma! She also said that if she got the chance to be a kid, sheíd be very pleased to do it all over again.
Now for my dad! My dad Roger went to school at George P. Vanier. My dadís favorite teacher was......actually, he didnít have a favorite teacher - he had a favorite principal! His name was Robert Biesnere. He liked him so much that my brother, Robert, is named after him! My dad liked him a lot because he always took Ďtime outí for my dad and really respected him. The teacher my dad disliked the most was Ms. Ruel. She was very mean to my dad and always picked on him. You also got three warnings and then you got the strap. There were no uniforms, and no cafeterias. You brought your lunch from home, but you could buy milk for 5 cents! We have to pay 50 cents! You were allowed to defend yourself but if you got in trouble at school, you got a spanking at home.
My dad was capital of a basketball team. Their team was called the Challengers. His team won the championship, so then they called themselves the champions! Well, thatís my dad! He also said to me ďAppreciate what you have for a school!Ē
My MomLast but not least my Mom, Mona! My mom went to Stella Maris. My momís favorite teachr was Mr. Tramontozi or Mr. T! He used to ask my mom to bring in the Oliva Newton John album. He would also laugh when my mom wore her toe socks to school! My momís worst teacher was Sister Jeannine. The teacher would always accuse my mom of doing something bad. She only got one warning with that teacher. You only got three warnings then you got the strap.
My mom had to walk two blocks to get to school. When it was raining her mom would gladly drive my mom and her sister to school. Like my dadís school she didnít have any uniforms or cafeterias. My mom would alsways walk home for lunch even if it was raining cats and dogs! Just to get a hot lunch!
In her school you were allowed to hit back, but were both brought home and would get one warning. My mom never got the strap or the cane. My mom had one bad experience while she was in school. In grade eight with Mr. T. her principal was cleaning his gun and accidentally shot himself. The whole school had to go to his funeral in Kitchener. Mr. T. was no longer her teacher, he was now the principal. So the boys tended to give the supply teachers a hard time. So thatís my mom! She would also love to be a kid again if she had the chance!
Well, now you know how good or bad the older generation was like. If you think of it they didnít have it that bad. Life was like that and unfortunately they had to live it the hard way.
Just put it this way, we have it good!!!!!